Martin Truex Jr. wins South Point 400 at Las Vegas

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Martin Truex Jr. opened the Cup Series playoffs with a win in Sunday’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Truex passed Kevin Harvick with 20 laps to go and went unchallenged to the finish. He claimed his fifth victory of the year and his first since Sonoma Raceway in June. His five wins surpasses his total from last year and leads the series.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has now won the opening race of the playoffs in three of the last four years.

“We took a gamble and qualified 24th” Truex told NBCSN. “For a while there it wasn’t looking too smart, with (Harvick) out front. Got the right adjustments at the end. Had a great car all day long.”

The top five was completed by Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, and Ryan Blaney.

Playoff drivers populated the entire top 10. Alex Bowman finished sixth and he was followed by William Byron, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman.

Harvick finished second after leading 47 laps.

“We were way off after we got here this week,” Harvick told NBCSN. “(His team) kept working. We qualified well and it wasn’t where we wanted when we started the race. We got stage points and led there late and gave us an opportunity. … Martin was just so much better on the second half of the run.”

STAGE 1 WINNER: Joey Logano. Started 22nd, took the lead on Lap 34 and led 31 laps before claiming the stage win.

STAGE 2 WINNER: Martin Truex Jr. Passed Logano coming to two laps to go after Logano got held up by lapped traffic.

More: Race results, points

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: William Byron managed to finish seventh after he spun from a cut tire – a result of contact with Ryan Blaney – on Lap 181 … Joey Logano led 105 laps and finished ninth after multiple cases of contact on a restart damaged his car … Alex Bowman place sixth for his best result since he won at Chicagoland Speedway.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Kyle Busch, the regular-season champion, finished 19th. He had to pit on Lap 12 following contact with the wall in the opening laps and was two laps down at one point. Front-end damage late from contact with the lapped car of Garrett Smithley ended a comeback run that saw him run as high as fifth .… Erik Jones placed 36th after went to the garage to start Stage 2 following his transmission getting stuck in second gear … Kurt Busch cut his left-front tire from contact with Martin Truex Jr on a restart and crashed. He finished 39th … Pole-sitter Clint Bowyer‘s night went downhill fast after the green flag. He led the first lap, before falling back. He finished outside the top 10 in Stage 1 and went a lap down in Stage 1. He was forced to pit on Lap 198 for damage and finished 25th.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “Should of run fourth, probably. But instead 19th. We’re the top echelon of motorsports and we’ve got guys that have never won late model races running out here on the race track. It’s pathetic. They don’t know where to go. So, what else do you do?” – Kyle Busch to NBCSN on his contact with Garrett Smithley that ended his comeback run.

WHAT’S NEXT: Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway at 7:30 p.m. ET Sept. 21 on NBCSN

 

Sioux Chief to sponsor ARCA Showdown, East Series to race at Nashville Fairgrounds

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ARCA announced Saturday that Sioux Chief Manufacturing will be the entitlement sponsor of its 10-race ARCA Menards Series Showdown in 2020.

Sioux Chief Manufacturing is a Missouri company that designs and manufactures rough plumbing products, parts, and accessories for residential, commercial, industrial and government applications

Sioux Chief has been involved in ARCA since 2015 as a race event sponsor and special awards program sponsor and sponsored ARCA’s former Short Track Challenge.

As part of the deal, a newly increased point fund, combined with race purses, owner plan, and contingency awards, will offer teams a chance to compete for a share of over $920,000 in posted awards throughout the series.

The Sioux Chief Showdown will bring together the best drivers from the ARCA Menards Series, the ARCA Menards Series East and ARCA Menards Series West, formerly known as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. Those events, held on oval tracks 1.25-miles in length and under and road courses, offer drivers who may not be able or eligible to run the full 20-race ARCA Menards Series schedule the opportunity to run for a championship. Combined with the overall ARCA Menards Series championship, and the East and West championships, drivers will have four separate championships to compete for in 2020.

The announcement was made at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis. Also present was promoter Bob Sargent of Track Enterprises, who announced that the ARCA Menards Series East would compete at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway on May 2.

The Tennessean reported this week that the Nashville Fairgrounds was negotiating with Sargent to promote at least three races at the short track in 2020. Sargent’s involvement in the track comes after Nashville’s Fair Board voted to terminate its agreement with Formosa Productions to run the track over outstanding debt.

The ARCA Menards Series has competed at the Fairgrounds the last five seasons. The ARCA Menards Series East, formerly known as the K&N Pro Series East, competed there from 2007-08.

GMS Racing reveals full-time driver-crew chief lineup, number assignments

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GMS Racing has announced its full-time driver-crew chief lineup for the 2020 Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series season and number assignments for its trucks:

– Chad Norris has been named crew chief for Brett Moffitt and the No. 23 Chevrolet team. Moffitt drove the No. 24 in his first season with the team. Norris has been with GMS Racing for two years and directed the effort that delivered the team its 2018 Xfinity Series win at Talladega.

– Chad Walter will lead Tyler Ankrum and the No. 26 team. 2020 will be Ankrum’s first season with GMS Racing. Walter served as an engineer for Ankrum this season at DGR-Crosley. Walter has five wins and 42 top fives in 208 Xfinity Series starts as crew chief.

– Kevin “Bono” Manion is paired with Zane Smith on the No. 21 Chevrolet. 2020 will be Smith’s first full-time Trucks season after competing part-time for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series. Manion has 24 wins as crew chief across all three national series since 2003. He led Martin Truex Jr. to his two Xfinity Series titles.

– Jeff Stankiewicz will remain as the crew chief for the No. 2 team piloted by Sheldon Creed.

Social Roundup: How NASCAR drivers are spending their offseason

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NASCAR’s Champion’s week is now behind us and we are firmly in the offseason.

Well, sort of.

The NASCAR world never really stops, which is evident simply due to the continued announcements for the 2020 season.

But with Joey Logano testing the Next Gen car at Phoenix earlier this week and Dale Earnhardt Jr. helping clean up North Wilkesboro Speedway for iRacing, it’s been anything but quiet.

Here’s a look at what else happened in the NASCAR community this week.

Someone needs to check in on Jimmie Johnson, he could be in his own version of Mr. Mom.

Chris Buescher is home again.

The 2015 Xfinity Series champion is back at Roush Fenway Racing for the 2020 Cup season and he’s got the firesuits and cars to prove it.

Brad Keselowski recently became father to a second daughter.

He’s now learning some important life lessons.

Former Front Row Motorsports driver Matt Tifft is now off the market after getting married to his fiance, Jordan. Now they’re on their honeymoon.

 

Matt DiBenedetto showed off one of the perks of being a Wood Brothers Racing employee.

Ryan Blaney and Bubba Wallace went somewhere warm to start their holiday.

Joey and Caitlin Gase welcome twin sons

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Xfinity Series driver Joey Gase and his wife Caitlin are now parents to twin boys

The babies were born on Wednesday. Their names are Jace and Carson.

More: Brad and Paige Keselowski welcome second daughter